"Our Hotel Boulderado story all started in November 2010. I was a graduate student at CU and my then-girlfriend, Paige, had recently returned from studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. We were walking around downtown Boulder and saw a sign advertising an upcoming bridal show at the Hotel Boulderado. Since we had been talking about getting married, we decided to register and attend.
The event was enlightening. We learned about dresses, catering, venues, vendors, and everything else imperative for a stunning wedding day. And througout the subsequent weeks, Paige would playfully bug me about getting engaged!
She got her wish a couple of months later. In January 2011, I proposed, and we scheduled a wedding for April 14, 2012. It was a long engagement, but it helped us de-conflict with other upcoming family weddings . . . and it let us attend the Hotel Boulderado bridal show again.
This past November, we attended the 2011 Hotel Boulderado bridal show. Most of our planning was complete, but we explicitly attended to learn about invitations, dresses, and dance lessons. We had great luck with the vendors in attendance, but there was an added bonus: we won tickets to the Hotel Boulderado New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball!
December 31st came around, and we had a blast! The musicians were exceptional, the food was top-notch, and the atmosphere was energetic. It was one of our favorite nights together as a couple. The best part, though, was watching the older couples go all out with their costumes and dancing, obviously feeling free and having a ton of fun. We continually said that we want to be "just like them" when we're older.
The next morning, as we drove back to our apartment in Denver, we excitedly talked about how great the night went, and we made plans for 366 days later. We will attend the 2012 New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Boulderado . . . this time as a married couple!
Thank you for the past -- and future -- memories!"
-- Soon-To-Be Jeff and Paige McCoy
** Favorite Story ~ December 2011 **
"New Year's Eve has always been extra special to me because New Year's Day is my birthday. New Year's Eve 2009 at the Boulderado was unsurpassed! I was so excited to learn I was going to a Ball! At nearly 44 years old this was a first for me; I felt like an excited young girl! The last day of 2009 began with a nice drive from Colorado Springs, checking in to the Boulderado, and an afternoon of tea and window shopping on Pearl Street with my boyfriend, Mark. We dressed for the gala evening of fine dining and dancing (finally a chance to put all our ballroom dancing lessons to work!). I felt like a princess in an elegant evening gown and satin shoes. We had a wonderful dinner with eight other guests at our table; laughing, eating, drinking wine and anticipating the midnight revelry. We managed to get in a few dances as well as a sitting for our portrait. As midnight approached, Mark found us a perfect vantage point for viewing the celebration of confetti and falling balloons. In just minutes it would be my birthday, I mean the New Year. Little did I know the spectacular plan that Mark had been scheming.
Just at the stroke of midnight, Mark dropped to one knee, placed a diamond ring on my finger, and proposed to me! I was speechless, and we have the photos to prove it! I did speak after some prompting and said "YES"! We had an unforgettable evening of 2009 and dawning of the year 2010 excited at the propsect of our new life together. Mark and I had a fabulous yet unconventional wedding on March 12th, 2010. We said "I do" at the top of the Incline in Manitou Springs and then ran down the Barr Trail. Quite natural for Coloradoans, we think!
Thank you Hotel Boulderado for the perfect backdrop for a Princess Birthday New Year's Proposal!"
-- Terri and Mark Ayers,
Colorado Springs, Colorado
** Favorite Story ~ August 2010 **
"For the first seven months of our relationship, my boyfriend, Andrew, and I maintained our connection over a distance of 3,000 miles. Flying back and forth across the country from Santa Barbara to Philadelphia had begun to take its toll, but neither one of us was quite prepared to call a new coast home. As a CU alum, Andrew was confident that Boulder would be a fun and comfortable place to settle down. I was intrigued by the idea but had never been to Colorado, so we decided to spend our Labor Day weekend in Boulder for a test run. It was then that we would have our first serious discussion about moving our lives, and I would finally have the opportunity to experience the town. I very much enjoyed my long weekend in Colorado but as a quintessential East Coast girl, I still had my reservations. Andrew wanted the site of our life-changing conversation to be perfect and intimate, so he carefully selected Q's Restaurant.
Walking down Pearl Street in the crisp and refreshing summer air, the nerves were quickly replaced with excitement and anticipation. As soon as we were greeted at the Hotel Boulderado and entered the beautiful and meticulously detailed lobby, we knew even more that it was going to be an unbelievably memorable night. We enjoyed light-hearted conversation with a cocktail at the bar before being seated at a quiet window-side table. The ambiance was incredible with dim lighting, white tablecloths, classic artwork, and impeccable service. The setting was somehow very cozy and luxurious at the same time; the perfect encapsulation of Boulder. We enjoyed one delicious course after the next, chatting about how far we had come over our few short months together and how we saw our future developing. Finally, over a summer sorbet trio we each announced excitedly, "I want to move here." We celebrated with a glass of wine and nearly skipped out of the hotel in excitement. Andrew and I have been in Colorado for seven months now and can't imagine being anywhere else. We will always remember Q's and the Hotel Boulderado as the place where our lives really began!"
-- Kimmy Freeman,
** Favorite Story ~ April 2009 **
"I started working at the Hotel Boulderado in December of 2007. Within my first few weeks, I heard that there were alleged 'ghosts' occupying our hotel, but decided to keep an open mind on the subject. Sometimes odd things will happen in our office – a door will open by itself, a bell will ring for no reason, or sometimes I hear someone else in here when I am completely alone. But the most interesting ghost experience I’ve had here – so far – happened on Halloween of 2008.
I had made plans to stay at the hotel with my boyfriend, Justin, and we were fortunate enough to be upgraded to one of the poshest suites in our inventory. Justin and his young son happened to stop by while I was still at work that day, taking a break from the Munchkin Masquerade on Pearl Street. I took them up to the suite to show them the room, and Justin’s son had fun exploring the room – climbing all over the bed, looking out every window, even testing out the television.
We returned to the room later that evening, after the dinner-hour, to freshen up before we went out to Pearl Street. Justin made a phone call home to say good-night to his son, and I laid down to take a brief nap. He was in the suite’s living room, and I was in the bedroom. There is a heavy door separating the two rooms, and while I was laying down, I saw this door shut very suddenly and firmly. I assumed Justin shut it to have more privacy on his phone call, and thought nothing of it at the time.
I returned to the living room a short time later, and asked Justin how his son was. 'Fine,' he replied. 'Sorry if I was too loud, I didn’t mean to disturb you while you were sleeping. I felt bad when you shut the door.'
'I didn’t shut it, I thought you did,' I answered.
'No, I was on the couch the whole time I was on the phone.
The rest of the night was peppered with 'Are you sure you didn’t shut the door?' from each of us, until finally we both accepted that the other hadn’t touched the door. Later, I remembered that according to the hotel’s history, a former manager had lived in the suite with his small son while his wife and daughter shared a similar set-up a few floors below. I wonder now if by bringing in Justin's son, and the phone call Justin made to him, stirred up some energy already heightened by the holiday. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many of those ghost shows on cable. Regardless, that Halloween night proved a memorable one for me."
-- Lynn Brewer
"The Hotel Boulderado is a special place for our family. When we moved to Boulder from London in 2001, we lived in the Boulderado for a short time while our house was being prepared. A few years later, my wife, Katy, and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by staying in a presidential suite at the hotel. And, of course, we will always have fond memories of celebrating New Year's Eve 2008 at the Boulderado as the hotel celebrated its 100th anniversary. Whenever I have out-of-town personal or business guests, I encourage them to stay at the Boulderado because of its fabulous charm and the great service your staff provides. And even if folks stay at my house, I always bring them to the Boulderado lobby to show them its history and elegance. Thank you for making it a special place."
"The Hotel Boulderado's 100th Anniversary Celebration would not be complete without a grand replica in gingerbread. Carol Wiggins and Elizabeth Dumont of Stir It Up Cooking School took on this "gingerbread challenge." The planning began with the Boulderado's marketing director, Beverly Silva, and a discussion on how large it should be. The edible gingerbread version would be three feet in length and stand about two feet tall. There would be green icing awnings, lights inside and out, poured sugar windows and, of course, a glowing stained glass roof. The Stir It Up staff knew this was no small undertaking as they counted the Hotel Boulderado's forty-some windows (on the front alone) knowing each would need to be re-cut while the gingerbread was still hot out of the oven.
The construction for the gingerbread building began in early November and was completed in about three weeks times. An estimated 30 pounds of gingerbread dough and fifteen pounds of royal icing were used. A total of six people participated in the project; two were volunteer students from New Vista High School. It took an estimated 55 hours to complete with its many fine details, including dormers, awnings, and balconies. The poster board pattern pieces took ten hours to draw and cut. The patterns and their many windows were then cut from red tinted gingerbread pressed with a brick-look stencil. The process took about 25 hours. Detailed icing and candy decorations were added and allowed to dry overnight before the building was erected. The following day the building was 'glued' together with edible royal icing. Wiggins then added her final icing details from wreaths in the windows to tiny candy lights in the trees. Except for four dowel rod supports, three trees, and numerous lights, the entire structure is edible. The project was completed and carefully delivered on November 28th, 2008. There was some rallied excitement as the lights were switched on and those forty windows gave off their amber glow.
Carol Wiggins, owner of Stir It Up Cooking School in south Boulder, has created several masterpieces this season but not without the help of Elizabeth Dumont and the rest of her staff. Dumont, a graduate of C.U. Boulder with an architecture background, drew all of the pattern pieces for this grand hotel project, baked most of the gingerbread and helped with the construction. Her best handywork is shown in the hand-painted logo of the Hotel Boulderado on the green awnings. Still in awe of the results, the staff at Stir It Up hopes all their work brings lots of delight and childish joy to the hotel staff, its many guests, and the community."
-- Carol Wiggins
**Favorite Story ~ November 2008**
"I have always been a big fan of the Hotel Boulderado. I grew up in Boulder and always appreciated its incredible beauty and charm. When I got to the point in my life of becoming engaged, there was only one place that came to mind for me to hold our wedding reception -- the Boulderado! I already had great feelings about the hotel and they were only reinforced during the process of planning our reception. Their great staff made it easy and seamless every step of the way. They provided the kind of service I had come to expect from such a great place. Our wedding was on March 17, 2001. With a St. Patrick's Day celebration, we of course featured the color green quite prominently, including green lights decorating the gathering area at the conference center. We had a big crowd who were treated to outstanding food and drinks! My husband and I enjoyed a table for two and the Boulderado staff made sure we were well cared for. We then spent the night enjoying toasts from our family and friends and then our DJ kicked up the music and kept the party going for several hours. We had so much fun that we were the last to leave the event! We've been back to the Hotel Boulderado several times on St. Patrick's Day just to celebrate what a great day that was. Thanks for putting on such a great event on such an important day in our lives!"
-- Julie Blankinship
"During the summer of 2003 my wife Annie and I decided to move from our home in Britain to Boulder. We stayed at the Boulderado for nearly a week while we searched the area for a suitable residence, staying in a room on the fifth floor.
On our first night in the room I was awakened about 2 am by the sounds of someone walking in the hallway. The sounds were very distinct and it was obvious to me that whomever was out there was in some sort of distress. Their walk could best be described as a slow stagger or limp.
As a retired police officer, I couldn't resist investigation. Just as the sound of the footsteps passed our door, I opened it. I was very surprised to find . . . no one. I didn't see a soul! I quickly checked the entire floor and found it deserted. The sound of the footsteps had stopped and the floor was completely quiet. I listened very carefully and definitely did not hear the sound of any doors closing. I heard no voices or sounds coming from any of the other rooms. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to bed.
While on our way to breakfast the following morning, the young lady at the front desk asked if we had enjoyed a comfortable first night in the hotel. I replied that we had and briefly told her the story of the unexplained sounds in the hallway. She smiled and replied that we had simply had a visit from the hotel's resident ghost.
Some time later I happened to mention my experience to that wonderful old fellow Mr. Alexander as we rode up in the elevator. He was good enough to step out in our floor with us and relate the story of a bride who had been left standing at the alter many years ago. He showed us the room and the actual window where she is said to have gone to her death.
Although we no longer live in Colorado, Annie and I visit the area occasionally. When in town we always stay at the Boulderado. We always try to stay in that same room or one adjacent to it., I have never had a re-occurrence of my experience on that first night in the hotel. As I have no other explanation, it remains a genuine ghost story to this day."
--Thom & Annie Earle
Canadian Lakes, Michigan
Editor's Note: Please understand that "stories" communicated by staff members (or anyone else, for that matter) may sometimes contain misinformation. The known history of the Boulderado does not entail any information about a bride having gone to her death through a window.